Senin, 30 Januari 2012



A. Background of the Study
      Language is a means of communication. By using language people can express their feelings, thoughts, and minds. People use language to communicate with other in fulfilling their daily needs. In fact, language has played important role in human life. As stated by Ramelan (1992: 10) language is an arbitary system of speech sound which is used in interpersonal communication by as aggregation of human being and which is rather exhaustively catalogs things, processes and events in human environment. Because of this, people use language functions as a means of international communication among the nations all over the world.
      It is important for us to learn language especially English since it is an international language which is used as a means of communication among nation in the world either in spoken or written interaction. In addition, the use of English is very important as a means of communication so that the interest in learning English grow very rapidly. Although English is not the largest number of native or ‘first’ language speakers, it is widely used by many people all over the world as their ‘second’ language (Harmer, 200: 1). In this globalization era, Indonesian people in their daily life will frequently use English.
      Ramelan (1992: 2) said that English is the first foreign language to be taught in Indonesia. It is taught from elementary school up to university. As the first foreign language, English is considered difficult to learn by indonesian students because learning English is something new for them. It is different from learning their native language. They have been surrounded by their mother tongue and spoken in their native language since their childhood. By this case, many problems appear in learning process, especially for the students of university. Their ability to participate in learning process is below average so that they can not reach maximum mark as it is expected. In teaching and learning process students must demonstrate proficient skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
One of the important aspects in learning a foreign language is listening. Listening plays an important role in the language learning. It is a demanding process, not only because of the complexity of the process itself but also due to factors that characterize the listener, the speaker, the content of the message and any visual support that accompanies the message. It gives the learner information from which to build the knowledge necessary for using the language. Listening provides the necessary input for learners to acquire the language needed for practicing a language.
Listening is the language modality that is used most frequently. It has been estimated that adults spend almost half their communication time for listening, and students may receive as much as 90% of their in-school information through listening to the instructors and to one another. Often, however, language learners do not recognize the level of effort that goes into developing listening ability.
In attempting the realization of the above objective, STKIP PGRI Ngawi via the department of English language art program has arranged its syllabus. In this research, the researcher only focuses on Listening I. In Listening I students are expected to be able identifying main idea, listening for detailed information, predicting and guessing words. They are also expected to be able accustomed the attentive of text.
However, the above ideal condition is too far the reality. There is an extreme gap between what the institution expects and the real condition. One of the weaknesses which the students have in learning English based on the researcher’s observation is listening competence. Most of them get difficulties in identifying main idea, predicting and guessing words. The condition is influenced by many factors. One of them is students did not have the courage to explain or to ask their difficulties to the lecturer. They could not solve the problem given by their lecturer.
Some English lecturers at the college where the researcher carries out a research still used the teacher-centered method and traditional method in teaching listening. Some of them just focused on listening conversation and monologue after that they ask to the students to choose the best option based on the context. Beside that, they asked the students to find the meaning of difficult words in the functional texts.
They used monotonous method in their teaching-learning process and were not motivated to find new strategies or methods which are more interesting and effective. In fact, students need new strategy or method to encourage them to improve their understanding about listening functional texts. It means that they need a certain condition to express their aspiration.
Based on the result of research that the researcher conducts, among 30 students, the researcher found that the students who got mark ≥ 70.00 were only 7 students, 23 students got less than 70.00. In discriminating sounds most of students still have mistakes in writing the word. Ex: /the/ into /that/, /historical/ into /history/, and /nineteen/ into /ninety/ when they fill in cloze dictation. It happens because they rarely practice to listen and write the word directly. When they identify the main idea and listen for detailed most of them also had difficulties in answering the questions because they have less vocabulary.
The second based on the result of interview test that the researcher conducted. The researcher took out 10 from 45 students to do interview randomly. Mostly they didn’t show the written and oral version well. For examples from 10 students that the researcher interviewed, they have problem which is caused by the speed from dialogue or monologue given, they are difficult to recognize sight words and discriminate sounds with letters, and they didn’t have good grammar.
In fact, listening is the most frequently used language skill in everyday life. Listening is a highly integrative skill. It is assuming greater importance in foreign language classroom. Unlike other language skills such as reading and writing, which can be observed directly, listening is an abstract, intricate “process of hearing, identifying, understanding and interpreting spoken language” (Lewis, 2007). Many students have significant problems with listening. The speed of utterances, the reduced forms of natural English, the use of intonation for meaning, and unfamiliar accents, all take their tools and it is essential to give learners at all levels plenty of practice. Therefore the choice of appropriate method is a great significance in developing listening skills and improving student’s overall language learning.
Some teachers think that listening is the easiest skill to teach, whereas most students think it is the most difficult to improve. This contradiction warns teachers that there is something about teaching listening that needs to be investigated. It must be discovered about how listening can be enhanced and what activities are useful to this purpose and then fully make use of knowledge and these activities in the classroom. Listening cannot be improved in a short time. It is easily understandable that second language learners should make great efforts to improve their overall second language level rather than focus their time and effort on one single aspect only. However difficult it is, it needs not only perseverance, but also some effective techniques. 
Based on the primarily observation on teaching and learning process in STKIP PGRI Ngawi, the researcher had found some factors considered as the sources that caused the problems mentioned above. The first cause was the poor of students’ vocabulary mastery; second, the students’ mastery in pronunciation is low; and the lack of intonation understanding. Viewed from the lecturer, the teaching learning process showed that it was monotonous. The spoken exercises given are taken from text books. It means the students just listen and must memorize the materials which are strange and abstract for them. The lecturer’s teaching techniques are not quite attractive and challenging. The technique which was applied during teaching learning process made the students in such passive situation as they often got broad oral explanation from their teacher. Moreover, there is lack of media to practice with. Besides, the listening test has a limited time to do for the students. The lecturer focused more on doing exercises of the students’ activities. As the result, when the English class is going on, the students get nervous. Even some of them like to leave their class. Due to the fact it is necessary to make an attempt to improve student’s listening ability by applying another technique.
English lecturer must be able to improve students’ motivation to study English better by creating an interesting situation that make the students actively ask, discuss, and express their ideas and feeling. Actually there are several techniques in teaching English as a foreign language to increase the students’ motivation to pay attention to the items being taught. One of them is to improve the students’ ability by using cloze dictation in English class.
Cloze dictation is teaching technique to know how far the students understand about text. It means that the students are given a written version of the text (along with the spoken version) where the written passage has certain portions left out. The students must listen to the spoken material and fill in the blanks in the written version. Other factors being equal, cloze dictation is an easier task from the students’ point of view though it takes more effort to prepare from the vantage point of the examiner. It is easier to perform because more sensory information is given concerning the message - a cloze written version and a complete spoken version. This technique is extremely useful for testing both reading and listening ability. It is challenging so, the students get more vocabulary from learning words based on the context.
            Listening is one factor which gives great influence in English for it is one alternative to solve the ability of students to understand text, structure, and vocabulary. However, in this case the researcher only focuses her observation to the ability of students in the first semester of STKIP PGRI Ngawi to understand text orally by using cloze dictation model.
Based on the description above the researcher is interested in the use of Action Research for improving student’s ability by using cloze test, because cloze dictation is proposed as an alternative way to sharpen the students’ thought and their sense of analysis. It is also good to stimulate the students to think fast and accurately (in this case, it is used when the students have to fill the blank space) by listening through head set or tape recorder.
The most important thing is that the choice of cloze test must be able to arouse the students’ curiosity and their enthusiasm to practice listening without fear or feeling bored. Hopefully it will help the students to understand texts by using cloze dictation, especially if it is done gradually and continuously

B. Problem Statement
The research is formulated to reach the expected result to help students listening ability.
1.      Can the technique of using cloze dictation improve the students‘ listening ability?
2.      What are the strengths and weaknesses using cloze dictation in the studentslistening ability?
3.      What happens to the class situation if cloze dictation technique is used to improve students’ listening ability?

C. The Objective of the Study
            This research is aimed to improve the students listening ability. In details, this research has the objectives:
1.      To know whether technique of using cloze dictation can improve the students’ listening ability
2.      To know whether cloze dictation has the strengths and weaknesses of students listening ability.
3.      To find out what happens to the class situation if cloze dictation is used to improve students’listening ability.

D. The Benefits of the Study
1. For the students
      a. The students’ English listening skill increases
      b. The students are trained to understand cloze dictation frequently
      c . The students’ vocabulary will increase automatically
2. For the lecturer/ teachers
a. It increases teachers’ high creativity, professionalism, and dedicated to reach series of academic achievement continuously in English.
b. It will help the teacher to facilitate the teaching process and to solve the problem of listening difficulties.
3. For Schools
a. The school can increase the quality of teaching process the learning process runs smoothly.
b. The school can get positive improvement by giving freedom to the teacher to design the teaching materials and the teaching learning interaction.
c. The result of the research hopefully will show how important what they have done to the institution.


A. Review of Related Literature
1. Listening
            This section contains the definitions of listening, learning to listen, types of listening, listening problems, types of classroom listening perfomance, and assesment of listening.
a.    Definition of Listening
Myers and Myers (1999: 143) state that listening is not only hearing, but also including the added dimensions of understanding, paying attention, analyzing, and evaluating the spoken messages, and possibly acting on the basis of what has been heard. Similarly, Floyd as quoted by Myers and Myers, defines listening as receiver orientation to the communication process, since communication involves both of source and a receiver. Rost (1994: 2) states thta listening is a process triggered by our attention. In psychological terms, attention is an excitation of nerve pathways, the brain, to organize incoming stimuli in an efficient way. Farlex (2007: 2) defines that listening is the act of hearing attentively.
The other definition of listening from Underwood (1997: 1) states that listening is the activity of paying attention to and trying to get meaning from something we hear. She explains that to listen successfully to spoken language, a listener needs to be able to work out what speakers mean when they use particular words in particular ways on particular occasions, and not simply to understand the words themselves. To understand the message from spoken language, it is not enough to just understand the words themselves; instead the incoming sound needs to be processed involving any available cues like background noises, the speakers, the setting, etc. To construct meaning.
Not all listening is the same; casual greetings, for example, require a different sort of listening capability than do academic lecturers. Language learning requires international listening that employs strategies for identifying sounds and making meaning from them.
There are many different types of listening which can be classified according to number variables, including purpose for listening, the role of listener, and types of text being listened to. These variables are mixed in many different configurations, each which will require a particular strstegy on the part of the listener. To be successful in listening to foreign language, listeners are required to apply such strategy that best fit to comprehend message.
Listening purpose is an important variables. Listening to a news broadcast to get general idea of the news of the day involves differene day involves different processes and strategies from listening to the same broadcast for specific information such as the result of an important sporting event. Listening to a sequence of instructt processes and strategies from listening to the same broadcast for specific information such as the result of an important sporting event. Listening to a sequence of instructions for operating a new piece of computer software requires different listening skills and strategies from listening to a poem or a short story.

2. Learning to Listen
            Listening comprehension also has an important role in determining the learner’s success in learning language, especially in communication. We cannot communicate with others if we do not understand what the speaker intends. That is why there is a lot of misunderstanding between the listener and the speaker. Why misunderstanding always occurs in communication, what the speaker said and intended, is determined by the listener’s ability in answering the speaker’s question.
            Learning to listen in our first language is by no means easy. It requires considerable cognitive development and constant attention to social and linguistic input over of period of several grades. However, learning to listen in a second language seems to be even more difficult. While it may not require more time to develop, second language listening is confounded by a number of difficulties.
            In responding to the students’ difficulties in learning to listen, first the teacher has to identify and to classify the difficulties that are faced by the students. Second, he selects and designs appropriate materials in solving the students’ difficulties, in order to make the students more effective listeners.
            Considering the difficulties or the probles which are faced by the students, it will be better if the teacher understands how the process of listening comprehension is achieved by them.
            According to Hellene and Brown, students learn to listen or read through two processes, they are bottom-up and top-down processing (1994: xii):
a.    Bottom-up processing
Bottom-up processing is trying to make sense of what we hear by focusing on different parts; the vocabulary, the grammar, sounds, etc, however, it is difficult to get overall parts. And when you try to understand what the speaker say by only looking at the grammar or vocabulary that you do not understand since you are learning a new language or foreign language then you can not focus on what you are listening to.
b.    Top-down processing
Top-down processing starts with background of knowledge called schema. Schema is classified into two. First, content schema that is general knowledge based on life experience and previous learning. Second, textual schema that is the knowledge of language and content used in the particular situation: the language you need at the office is different than what you need when socializing with friends.
            Furthermore Brown (1997: 11) states that the active listener will use all  relevant background knowledge of the physical context of the utterance (the immediate surroundings, the place, the time of day, etc), knowledge of the speaker ( gender, age, known opinions), knowledge of the topic (and what the speaker is likely to know about it, or feel about it), and so on.
            In short, in the top-down processing, students do not need to pay much attention to the language used. As in some situations, the topic or the speaker is so familiar that they can take for granted a great deal of what is said. It allows anchoring their comprehension on what they think is relevant knowledge of the topic, the speaker, and so on.
3. Types of Listening Activities       
            An essentialive listeners is exposing the listeners to variety of listening activities. According to Hellenes and Brown (1994: xii) there are three types of listening activities, namely:
a. Listening skill for understanding the general meaning.
            It is listening skill for understanding the genral meaning. The listener is usually quick to understand the idea of the text. He/she can imagine to catch the general meaning of something he/ she hears.
b. Listening for the specific information/ listening for detail
            It involves understanding the task and focusing to catch certain information.
c.    Listening between the lines/ understanding inferences
Understanding inferences is the most difficult skill in the listening activities. It is not just imagining meanings. It is thinking about meaning that is given, even though the specific words are not the stirty. Here, in this listening activity, the hearer must be able to draw the inference of the story.
4.    Listening Problems
The first step the learning problems that studentep in constructing a successful listening is to identify the learning problems that students are experiencing as a result of listening to related issues. Ur (1996: 111-112) identifies the learner’s problems and the solution as follows:
a.  Trouble with the sounds
            Most students rely mostly on context for comprehension; they are often themselves unaware sound perception.
b.  Have understand very word
            Some students  feel worried and stressed when they miss some words of the text. Here, the teacher needs to give the students practice in selective ignoring of heard information/something, they do naturally in their mother tongue. The teacher should explain this point to the students, and set them occasional tasks that ask them to scan a relatively long task for one two limited items of information.
c. Cannot understand fast, naturally native speaker
            The students can only understand if the teacher talks slowly and clearly. They cannot understand fast, natural native-sounding speech. To overcome this problem, the teacher has to expose the students to as  much spontaneous-informal talk as possible, so they can understand the native speech. The teacher can also provide them with the sorts of discourse at the right level for them.
d. Need to hear thing. More than once
            In order to understand, students need more than once to hear the text. In this problem, the teacher can try to use texts that include “redundant” passage and within which the essential information is presented more than once and not too intensively and give the students the opportunity to request clarification oe repetition during the listening.
e. Find it difficult to keep up
            The students feel overloaded with incoming information. The solution is not (so much) to slow down the discourse but rather to encourage them to relax, stop trying to understand everything, learn to pick out what is essential and allow them to ignore the rest.
f. Get tired
            Sometimes, students feel tired and bored to listen, if the discourse is too long. They also feel more difficult to concentrate: The solution of this problem is similar with the third problem.
            Similar to Ur (1996: 113), Rost (1994: 119) has identified the listener’s problems as follows: acuity of hearing, discrimination and auditory perception, attention and concentration, comprehension including four aspects, namely: factual or literal comprehension, interpretation, critical listening, and evolution listening.
a.  Acuity of hearing
            Some pupils have physical problems which prevent them from participating full or owing to environmental problem ( such as noise), are not hearing what is said.

b. Discrimination and auditory perception
            Some pupils have problem with auditory memory (recalling what they have just heard) and sequential memory (recalling in correct sequence of words or utterance they have just heard.
c. Attention and concentration
            Many pupils have difficulties following instructions owing to apparent in attention and concentration. Such pupils may not be adapting well to the numerous distraction in a typical classroom.
d. Comprehension
            Numerous pupils have difficulties with different aspects of listening comprehension. Some have trouble with factual or literal comprehension (identifying what was said or what facts were stated); others have trouble with interpretation (such as categorizing new information or seeing cause-effect relationship between facts); other have trouble with critical listening (applying what they have heard and problem-solving). Still others have problems with evolutional listening (appreciating or commenting critically on what they have heard.

5. Difficulties in Listening
According to many experts (Dunkel, 1991; Richards, 1983; and Ur, 1984), there are eight factors making listening difficult as follows:
a. Clustering, in written language we are conditioned to attend the sentence as the basic unit of organization. In spoken language, due to the memory limitations and our predisposition for “chunking” or clustering, we break down speech into smaller group of world. 
b. Redundancy, spoken language unlike written language, has a good deal of redundancy. The next time we are in conversation, notice the rephrasing, repetitions, elaborations, and little insertion of “I mean” and “You know”, here and there. Such redundancy helps the hearer to process meaning by offering more time and extra information.
c. Reduced form, while spoken language does indeed contain a good deal of redundancy, it also has many reduced forms. The reduction can be phonological, morphological, syntactic, and pragmatic. These reductions pose significant difficulties especially to classroom learners. 
d. Performance variables, in spoken language, except for plan discourse, hesitations, false starts, pauses, and correction are common. Learners have to train themselves to listen for meaning in the midst of all these distracting performance variables. 
e. Colloquial language, learners who have been exposed to standard written English and/or ‘textbook’ language sometimes find it surprising and difficult to deal with colloquial language. Idioms, slang, reduced forms, shared cultural knowledge, are all manifested at some point of conversation.   
f. Rate of delivery, virtually every language learner initially thinks that native speaker speak too fast. Actually as Richard (1983) points out, the number of length pauses used by a speaker is more crucial to comprehension than sheer speed.
g. Stress, rhythm, and intonation, the prosodic features of the English language are very important for comprehension. As a stressed time language, English speech can be a terror for some learners as mouthfuls of syllables come spilling out between stress points.
h. Interaction, unless a language learner’s objectives is exclusively to master some specialized skill like monitoring radio broadcast or attending lectures, interaction will play a large role in listening comprehension.
            Based on some theories mentioned in Chapter II, it can be concluded that listening skill is an active, purposeful processing of making sense what we hear. When listening, the hearer has willingness and competence to understand what is said. Specifically, students need to know the listening competence they most frequently encounter in their academic studies in order to successfully complete their assignments. To improve student’s listening skill, the students are capable to discriminate sounds, identify main idea and listen for detail information both text and sentence.

6. Types of Classroom Perfomance
            With literally hundreds of possible techniques available for teaching listening skill, it will be helpful to think in terms of several kinds of listening perfomance. (Rost, 1994: 119).
The types of listening perfomance are as the following:
a. Reactive
            This kind of listening perfomance requires little meaningful processing, it nevertheles may be a legitimate, even though a minor, aspect of an interactive communicative classroom. The role of the listeners is merely as a “tape recorder” because the listeners is not generating meaning.
b.  Intensive
            The purpose of the technique is to focus on components (phonemes, words, intonation, discourse etc) of discourse. It may be considered to be intensive, as opposed to extensive, in their requirement that students single out certain elements of spoken language.
c. Responsive
            A significant proportion of classroom listening activity consists of short stretches of teacher language designed to elicit immediate response. The students’ task in such listening is to process the teacher ralk immediately.
            Rost (1991: 3)  liste the necessary component skills in the listening as: (a) discriminating between sounds; (b) recognizing words; (c) identifying grammatical grouping of words; (d) identifying pragmatic units’-expression and set of utterances which function as a whole units to create meaning; (e) connecting linguistic cues (gesture and relevant objects in the situation) in order to construct meaning; (f) using background knowledge (what we has already know about the content and the form) and context (what we has already been said) to predict and then to confirm meaning; (g) recalling important words and ideas.
            To be successful in listening, listeners involve an integration of these component skills. That means listening is not the individual skills themselves instead it is a coordination of the component skills. A person’s listening ability is the integration of the perception skills, analyzing skills, and synthesis skills.
            In listening comprehension, use effective listening skills can help students capitalize on the language input they are receiving. Axbey (1989: 4) states that successful listening in the classroom depends partly on good preparation. The context of what he or she is going to listen should be introduced to the students such as who is speaking, where, when, and to what purpose. This information enables them make predictions of the content and language, for example, before and during listening.
            To think that listening task, there are some aspect such as discriminating (spelling sound discrimination), identifying main idea, and listening for detailed information which are used by the researcher to conduct teaching listening and used in testing the students’ listening ability. The task for the researcher in designing listening test is determining the active or passive listening. Specifically, students need to know the listening comptence they most frequently encounter in their academic studies in order to successfully complete their assignment. In order to reuly know how to listen well, students must:
a.         Discriminating
Some pupils have problem with auditory memory (recalling what they have just heard) and sequential memory (recalling in correct sequence of words or utterance they have just heard.
b.        Recognizing Words
In order to recognize word, we have to perform three stimultaneous processes: find the most probable ‘candidate word’ among several posibilities, estimate the best meaning of the word in the context, and find the ‘refence’ for the speaker’s words.
c.         Responding
A significant proportion of classroom listening activity consists of short strches of teacher language designed to elicit immediate responses. The students’ task in such listening to process the teacher talk immediately.
d.        Comprehending
Some have trouble with factual or literal comprehension ( identifying what was said or what facts were stated); others have trouble with interpretation (such as categorizing new information or seeing cause-effect relationship between facts); others have trouble with critical listening (applying what they have heard and problem solving). They are some ways in which the students comprehend, they are:
1) Understanding for the specific information
     It involves understanding the task and focusing to catch certain information.
2) Understanding for the inferential information
     Understanding inferences is the most difficult skill in the listening activities. It is not just imagining meanings. It is thinking about meaning that is given, even though the specific words are not the stirty. Here, in this listening activitiy, the hearer must be able to draw the inference of the story.
3) Understanding for the main idea
     It is listening skill for understanding the general meanings. The listener is usually quick to understand the idea of the text. He/she can imagine to catch the general meaning of something he/she hear.
     From the expalantion above, it can be concluded that listening is an activity of paying attention to what has been heard in order to understand the message. Listeners take in the sounds uttered by a speaker and use them to construct an interpretation of what they think the speaker intends to convey. Listening skills consist of the aspect of discriminating sounds, identifying main idea, and listening for detailed information.
7. Definition of Teaching Listening Comprehension
            Comprehension is often considered to be the first-order goal of listening, the highest priority of the listener and sometimes the sole purpose of listening. Although the term listening comprehension is widely used to refer to all aspects of listening, the term comprehension will be discussed more specific here.
According to Rost (2002: 59) comprehension is the process of relating language to concepts in one’s memory and to reference in the real world. Comprehension is the sense of understanding what the language used refers to in one’s experiences or in the outside world. Complete comprehension then refers to the listener having clear concepts in memory for every referent used by the speaker.
            The process of comprehending occurs in an on going cycle as the listener is attending to speech. A concrete starting point of discussing how comprehension takes places is the notion of “given” and “new” information. The term “new” refers to the status that the information is undefined by the listener. “Given” refers to the status that the information is already known by the listeners. Most fundamental aspect of comprehension is the integration of the information conveyed by the text with information and concepts already known by the listeners. In teaching listening there are main stages that we should construct. It is the same as we teach listening comprehension. They are:
a.  Pre-listening
            Pre-listening is the warming up activity before the students have the real listening tasks. Pre-listening is how we can help learners achieve the balance between the top-down and bottom-up processing. In many warm-up activities, learners do task to activate their schemata. When learners use both top-down and bottom-up processing, this is called interactive processing. Pre-listening activity is almost the same as brainstorming in reading or writing.
            In real life it is unusual for people to listen to something without having some idea of what they are going to hear. Rees in his article at explain that pre-listening task aim to deal with (1) Setting the context i.e. giving an idea about who is speaking, where and why. (2) Activating current knowledge i.e. asking questions related to the context. (3) Acquiring knowledge i.e. providing knowledge input to the students. (4) Activating vocabulary or language i.e. providing vocabulary that they may find in the context. (5) Checking or understanding the listening tasks i.e. give students plenty of time to understand the main listening comprehension.

b.  Listening tasks
There are three types of listening activities for beginners’ level. They are listening for specific information, listening and inferencing.
c.  Post-listening
The range of post listening activities is at least as wide as listening tasks themselves. At times, post listening maybe as simple as checking the answers to comprehension questions, either by the teacher telling the learners what the correct answers are, by eliciting answers from the students themselves, or by having students compare their answers in pairs or small groups (Helgesen and Brown, 2007: 17).
8. Principles for Developing Listening Ability
            To develop listening ability, learners need a great deal exposure to spoken language and sample practice in various listening situations. However, in addition to exposure and practice, it is of vital importance for the listeners to become engage in the process of listening and develop desire to understand. Different type of listener will have different approach to their development of listening ability.
a. Listening ability develop through face to face interaction
Face to face interaction provides stimulation for development of listening for meaning. Learners have the chance for new language input and the chance to check their own listening ability by interacting in English.
b. Listening develop through focusing on meaning and trying to learn new and important content in the target language.
    Learners can activate both their linguistic and non-linguistic abilities to understand by focusing on meaning and real reasons for listening.
c. Listening ability develops through work on comprehension activities.
      By focusing on specific goals for listening, learners can evaluate their efforts and abilities. By having well-defined comprehension activities, learners have opportunities for assessment of what they achieved and for revision.
d. Listening develops through attention to accuracy and an analysis of form.
      Learners can make steady progress by learning to perceive sounds and words accurately as they work on meaning-oriented activities and they gain confidence in listening for meaning by learning to hear sounds and words more accurately.
9. Kinds of Listening Text
There are two kinds of listening texts; they are monologue text and dialogue text. In monologue the listener is not required to respond the massage. It is also called an informational listening. This is where information is communicated to the listeners. Monologue can be planned, or unplanned. Monologues are the example of one way communication. There are some other kinds of one way communication, they are Radio and television programs, public address announcements (airports, train/bus stations, stores) and Speeches and lectures
Dialogue requires listeners to respond to what is being communicated. The goal of dialogue is to develop interaction between people. In dialogues, there are interpersonal and transactional dialogues. The listener communicates something back to the speaker. For example, greeting between friends, a meeting business discussion   and giving or receiving instructions at work.     
According to Brown (1996: 234) the importance of listening in language learning can hardly be overestimated. Through perception, we internalize linguistic information without which we could not produce language. In classroom, students always do more listening than speaking. Listening competence is universally “larger” than speaking competence. Listening comprehension does not always draw the attention of educators that it now has. Perhaps human beings have a natural tendency to look at speaking as the major index of language proficiency. Listening as a major component in language learning and teaching first hit the spotlight in the late 1970s with James Asher’s (1977) work on Total Physical Response, in which the role of comprehension was given prominence as learners were given great quantities of language to listen to before they were encouraged to respond orally.
             Based on the term of listening above, listening is the major activity in teaching learning process and this activity always precedes speaking, it is impossible to expect a student to produce a sound which does not exist in her mother tongue or a natural sentence using the stress, rhythms and intonation of a native speaker of the foreign language without first of all providing him with a model of the form he produces.
The logical first step in attempting, to achieve oral fluency or accuracy is considering the learners’ ability to listen. So, teachers must develop the students’ ability in order to give better chance to them to understand well what they hear in teaching learning process.

10. Dictation and Closely Related Auditory Tasks
a. Kind of Dictation Tasks
            This part focuses attention on a family of auditory testing procedures. The best researched of them is a variety of dictation which we will refer to as standard dictation. This variety and others related to it are described in some detail below, but is should be noted early that the few testing techniques which are discussed in this and in following parts are scarcely indicative of the range of possible pragmatic testing procedure. More particularly, the few auditory tasks described in this part are far from a complete accounting of possible tests. In fact, no complete listing can ever be obtained because their number is unbounded in principle. The techniques discussed are intended merely to introduce some of the possibilities that are known to work well. It is not to set the limits of the range of pragmatic auditory tasks that are possible.
            Among the family of dictation procedures that have been used in a variety of ways as testing techniques are standard dictation, partial/cloze dictation, dictation with competing noise, dictation/composition, and elicited imitation.
            Cloze dictation (sometimes known as Partial is a combination technique of dictation and the cloze procedure. In partial dictation, actually all of the materials presented in an auditory version, and part of it is also presented in printed form. The portions of text that are missing in the printed version are the criterion parts where the examinee must write what is heard – hence, though all of the material is presented in an auditory form, only part of it is really dictated for the learner to write down. The technique has a great deal of flexibility and may be done in such a way as to break up the text somewhat less than the standard of dictation.
            Johansson (1973) suggests two methods for selecting materials. On way is to tape a portion of natural discourse- a lecture, a radio program, a conversation, or some other verbal exchange. Another is to concoct a text or script to be tape recorded as if it were one of the foregoing, or merely to tape record a script, say, a paragraph of prose. In the first case it is necessary to transform the auditory version into a written form, that is, write the script. In the second, one starts with the script and then makes a recording of it. Another step in either case is to decide what portions of the script to leave blank. Once those decisions are reached, pauses of sufficient length must be inserted in the taped version.

b. The Benefit of Cloze Dictation
Brown’s book acclaiming the positive benefits of the beleaguered cloze dictation practice helped it become popular again. It was extensively used in tandem with the grammar-translation method which was popular in the United States until WWII as well as with the direct and reading methods. However, after World War II, schools adopted the US army’s new method for training translators and interpreters quickly, in less than one year, for the war effort, the method now known as the audio-lingual method. The audio-lingual method stressed aural and oral skills by focusing on oral repetition. As the audio-lingual method became more popular in foreign language teaching during the 1960’s, dictation as a teaching tool, considered “non-communicative”, slipped out of favor once again. It was resurrected as a testing tool, however, for evaluating overall language proficiency, which will be discussed in the next section.
In cloze dictation we have the most perfect combination of faculties and functions. There is the accurate tongue, speaking to the listening and discriminating ear; there is the reproductive hand, bringing back to the intelligent and critical eye that which the mind has heard by ear --all the faculties of perception, conception, and expression are alert and in harmonious cooperation (Joynes as cited by Sawyer and Silver, 1961: 40).

c. Factors influencing the task difficulty are as follows:
The conceptual difficulty of the word sequences cloze/partial dictation (other factors being held constant) they are:
a.         The overall speed of presentation.
b.      The length of sequences of material that are presented between pauses.
c.       The signal to noise ratio - i.e. the amount of noise added to the material.
d.      The number of times the text is presented.
e.       The dialect and the enunciation of the speaker and the dialect the hearer is most familiar with.
f.       A miscellany of other factors.
Since the purpose of the test is decidedly not to assess the speed with which examinees can write, the pauses must be long enough to ensure that the task is not turned into a speed writing context.  A rule of thumb suggested by Oller is for the examiner to sub vocalize the spelling of each sequence of verbal material twice during the pause while the learners are writing it.
d. The fixed-ratio method
            The most commonly used, and therefore, the best researched type, is the cloze test constructed by deleting every nth word of a passage. It called fixed-ratio method because it deletes 1/nth of the words in the passage. For instance, an every 5th word deletion ratio would result 1/5th of the word being blanked out of the text. By this technique, the number of words correctly replaced (by the exact-word scoring procedure) or the number of contextually appropriate words supplied (by the contextually appropriate scoring method) is a kind of overall index of the subject’s ability to process the prose in the text. Or alternatively the average score of a group of examinees on several passages may be taken as an indication of the comprehensibility of each text to the group of subjects in question. Or from yet another angle, constraints within any text may be studied by comparing scores on individual items.
e. Variable-ratio method
            Instead of deleting words according to a counting procedure, words may be selected on some other basis. For instance, it is possible to delete only words that are richly laden with meaning; typically these would include the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or some combination of them in the text in question. Another version leaves out only the so-called function words, e.g., the prepositions, conjunctions, articles and the like.
            It is also possible to use an every nth word procedure with some discretionary judgement. This is probably the most commonly used method for classroom testing. Instead of only deleting words on a counting basis, the counting technique may be used only as general guide. Thus, it is common practice t skip over items such as proper nouns, dates, and other words that would be excessively difficult to replace.
            Because of the fact that cloze items are usually scattered over an entire text on some fixed or variable ratio method, cloze tests are generally tests of discourse level processing. Further, it has been shown that performance on cloze items is affected by the amount of text on either side of a blank up to at least fifty words plus (Oller, 1975). Apparently cloze items reflect overall comprehension of a text. Not every item is sensitive to long-range constraints (Chaves, Oller, Chihara, and Weaver, 1977) but enough items apparently are sensitive to such constraints to affect overall performance.
            It is difficult to imagine anyone filling in the blanks on a Cloze test correctly without understanding the meaning of the text in the sense of mapping it onto extra linguistic context-hence; Cloze tests seem to meet the second of the two pragmatic naturalness constraints.

f. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloze Dictation
1) The Advantages of Cloze Dictation
Contrary to essay writing which can be judged as too open ended, a dictation is right or wrong, therefore it is an easy exercise for new instructors and it can give students a chance to know where they stand compared to the rest of the class. Among the list of 21 advantages offered by Ruth Montalvan:
(1)  Develops short term memory.
(2)  It can be an excellent review exercise.
(3) It is challenging.
(4) Involves the whole class, no matter how large it is.
(5) Corrections can be done by the students.
(6) Can be prepared for any level.
(7) Dictation can help develop all four language skills in an integrative way.
(8) Provides feedback for students as well as teachers.
(9) Research has shown that learning to write down what you hear can encourage the development of literacy.
It is important that the candidates should be assessed in situations as close as possible to those in which they will be required to use the language. For dictation, this involves them listening to dictated material which incorporates oral messages typical of those they might encounter in the target situation.
a.         Given our concern with reliability as well as validity, it is perhaps advisable to improve the overall reliability of a listening battery by including a format which has a proven track record in this respect. A dictation can provide this reliability through the large number of items that can be generated as well as being valid for specific situation where dictation might feature as a target group activity.
b.      There is a lot of evidence which shows dictation correlating highly with a great variety of other tests, particularly with other integrative tests such as cloze and it is often employed as a useful measure of general proficiency. There is some evidence that the use of a semantic scoring scheme (see weir, 1983a) as against an exact word system serve to enhance the correlations with other construct valid test of listening.
c.       Criticisms of dictation in the past stemmed from a viewpoint heavily influenced by structural linguistics that favoured testing the more discrete elements of language skills and wished to avoid the possibility of muddied measurement. Heaton (1975) commented” ‘as a testing device it measures too many different language features to be effective in providing a means of assessing any one particular skill’. The proponents of dictation, however, consider its very ‘integrative’ nature to be advantage since it reflects more faithfully how people process language in real life contexts.
d.      The new interest in dictation reflected the paradigm shift in testing values and objectives referred to above. Whereas in 1967 Vallette had observed that foreign language specialists were not in agreement on the effectiveness of dictation as an examination for more advanced students, significantly ten years later she was able to state that dictation was a precise measure of overall proficiency and an excellent method of grouping incoming students according to ability levels.
e.       An important factor in the return of dictation to popularity as a testing device was the research carried out by Oller, which formed part of a wider interest in integrative testing. Oller (1979) rejected current critics of dictation and argued that it was an adequate test of listening comprehension because it tested a broad range of integrative skills.
f.       Oller (1979) claimed that a dynamic process of analysis by synthesis was involved. Dictation draws on learner’s ability to use all systems of the language in conjunction with knowledge of the world, context, etc., to predict what will be said (synthesis of message) and after the message has been uttered to scrutinise this via the short term memory in order to see if it fits with what had been predicted (analysis).
g.      Dictation for Oller tests not only a student’s ability to discriminate phonological units but also his ability to make decisions about word boundaries; in this way an examinee discovers sequences of words and phrases that make sense and from these reconstructs a message. The identification of word from context as well as from perceived sounds is seen by Oller as a positive advantage of dictation in that this ability is crucial in the functioning of language. The success with which the candidate reconstructs a message is said to depend on the degree to which his internalised ‘expectancy grammar’ replicates that of the native speaker. Fluent native speaker nearly always score 100 per cent on a well administered dictation while non native learners make errors of omission, insertion, word order, inversion, etc., indicating that their internalised grammars are, to some extent, inaccurate and incomplete; they do not fully understand what they hear and what they encode is correspondingly different from the original.
h.      According to Oller, research showed that dictation test results were powerful predictors of language ability as measured by other kinds of language tests (see Oller, 1971:Valette, 1977)

2) The Disadvantages of Cloze Dictation
Traditional cloze dictation is not a great oral comprehension exercise since it has little to do with authentic communication. Dictations are in fact written passages that are read out loud so they do not help students to understand the difference between the oral and the written language. Furthermore they are read at a slower pace than people speak normally and are therefore of little value to help students understand the language spoken by natives.
1.        Memorizing, the short term memory can be “overwhelmed” if they is too much that the student does not understand.
2.       Writing respecting the relation between sounds and letters is next to impossible if the student did not understand and guessing does not always work. There is a great deal of emphasis put on spelling mistakes in a dictation yet there is very little work done to help the students to perceive the basic sound-spelling correspondences revealed by their dictation errors.
3.      Syllabic but depends on a rhythmic group and which has no break between syllables.
Besides the disadvantages above there are other disadvantages as follows:
(1) Alderson (1978a) concludes that the evidence concerning dictation is inconclusive and that it is useful only as part of battery of listening tests rather than a single solution. He points out (1978a, p. 365) that:
The reason it correlates more with some sub-tests than with others does not appear to be date to the claimed fact that it is an integrative test, but because it is essentially a test of low level linguistic skills. Hence the dictation correlates best with those cloze tests, texts and scoring methods which themselves best allow the measurement of these skills.
(2) Dictation will be trivial unless the short term memory of the students is challenge and the length of the utterances dictated will depend on the listeners’ ability up to the limit that native speaker counterparts could handle.
(3)  Marking may well be problematic if one wishes to take into account seriousness of error or if one wishes to adopt a more communicatively oriented marking scheme where a mark is given if the candidate has understood the substance of the message and redundant features are ignored.
(4) If the dictation is not recorded on tape, the test will be less reliable, as there will be differences in, for example, the speed of delivery of the text to different audiences.
(5)  The exercise can be unrealistic if the texts used have been previously created to be read rather than heard.

11. Designing Assessment Tasks
a. Intensive Listening
            Brown (2004: 122-139) provides some formats that can be applied in assessing listening and he states that after determining the objectives the next step to be taken is to design the tasks including making decisions about how to elicit performance and how to expect the test-taker to respond. The tasks that will be discussed here range from intensive listening performance, such as minimal phonemic pair recognition, to extensive comprehension of language in communicative contexts. In this section, the focus is on the micro skills of intensive listening.
   1) Recognizing phonological and morphological elements
                        At this level, a typical form of intensive listening is the assessment of recognition of phonological elements of language. In a classic task test the test-takers are given spoken stimulus to identify from two or more choices.
   Phonemic pair, consonants
   Test-takers hear        : He’s from California
   Test-takers read        : (a) He’s from California
                                      (b) She’s from California

   Phonemic pairs, vowels
   Test-takers hear        : Is he living?
   Test-takers read        : (a) Is he leaving?
                                      (b) Is he living?

   Morphological pair, -ed ending
   Test-takers hear        : I missed you very much
   Test-takers read        : (a) I missed you very much
                                      (b) I miss you very much

Stress pattern in can’t
   Test-takers hear        : My girlfriend can’t go to the party
   Test-takers read        : (a) My girlfriend can’t go to the party
                                      (b) My girlfriend can go to the party

One word stimulus
   Test-takers hear        : vine
   Test-takers read        : (a) vine
                                      (b) wine

b. Responsive Listening
            Responsive listening is a question and answer format. This can provide some interactivity in these lower end listening tasks.
Example of appropriate response to a question:
Test-takers hear        : How much time did you take to do your homework?
Test-takers read        : (a) in a bout an hour
                                      (b) about an hour
                                   (c) about $10
                                   (d) Yes, I did

         Recognition of the wh- question how much and its appropriate response is the objective of this item. To represent common learner errors, destructors are chosen: (a) responding to how much vs. how much longer; (b) confusing how much in reference to time vs. the more frequent reference to money; (d) confusing a wh-question with a yes/no question.
         A multiple choice format is not the only frame but they can be offered in a more open-ended framework in which test-takers write or speak the response, for example:
Test-takers hear                  : How much time did you take to do your homework?
Test-takers write or speak: _________________________

c. Selective Listening
            Selective Listening is a type of listening performance in which the test-takers listen to a limited quantity of aural input and must discern within it some specific information.
1)      Listening Cloze
Listening cloze tasks is sometimes called cloze dictation or partial dictations. This requires the test-takers to listen to a story, monologue, or conversation and simultaneously read the written text in which selected words or phrases have been deleted. In listening cloze task, the test-takers see a transcript of the passage that they are listening to and fill in the blanks with the words or phrases that they hear.
To avoid becoming a reading comprehension tasks, item with high information load that cannot easily predicted simply by reading the passage are used to guard against the eventuality.
         Test-takers hear:
         Ladies and gentleman, I now have some connecting gate information for those of you making connections to other flights out of San Francisco.
         Flight seven-oh-six to Portland will depart from gate seventy-three at nine-thirty P.M. light ten-forty-five to Reno will depart at nine-thirty-five P.M. from gate sixty. And flight sixteen-oh-three to Sacramento will depart from gate nineteen at ten-fifteen P.M.

         Test-takers write the missing words or phrases in the blanks.
                        Other listening close tasks may focus on a grammatical category such as verb tenses, article, two-word verbs, preposition, or transition words/phrases. Unlike standard reading cloze, in listening cloze, deletion are governed by the objective of the test, not by mathematical deletions of every nth word; and more than words may be deleted, just like the example above.
                        The use of an exact word method of scoring in which only the actual word and phrases are accepted and consider other appropriate words are incorrect should be normally used in listening cloze tasks.
2) Information Transfer
                        Information transfer technique can also be used to asses selective listening in which aurally processed information must be transferred to a visual representation, such as labelling a diagram, identifying an element in a picture, completing a form, or showing routes on a map. Simple picture-cued items are sometimes efficient rubrics for assessing certain selected information at the lower end of the scale of linguistic complexity. Example:
         Information transfer: multiple-picture-cued selection
         Test-takers hear:
         Choose the correct picture. In my back yard I have a bird feeder. Yesterday, there were two birds and a squirrel fighting for the last few seeds in the bird feeder. The squirrel was on top of the bird feeder while the larger bird sat at the bottom of the feeder screeching at the squirrel. The smaller bird was flying around the squirrel, trying to scare it away.
         Test-takers see four different pictures with one is being correct.
                        The example above illustrates the need for the test-takers to focus on just the relevant information. This is to test prepositions and prepositional phrases f location such as at the bottom, on top of, along with larger, smaller, so other words and phrases like back yard, yesterday, last few seeds, and scare away are supplied only as a context and need not be tested.
                        In another genre of picture-cued tasks, a number of people or action can be represented in one picture. The assessment that may test student’s comprehension may be:
a)      Questions: “Is the tall man near the door talking to a short woman?”
b)       True/false: “The woman wearing a red skirt is watching TV.”
c)      Identification: “Point to the person who is standing behind the lamp.
“Draw a circle around the person to the left of the couch.”
Information transfer tasks may reflect authenticity by using charts, maps, grids, timetables, and other artefacts of daily life.
Example of information transfer: chart-filling:
Test-takers hear:
Now you will hear information about Lucy’s daily schedule. The information will be given twice. The first just listen carefully. The second time, there will be a pause after each sentence. Fill in Lucy’s blank daily schedule with the correct information. The example has already been filled in.
You will hear:
Lucy gets up at eight o’clock every morning except on weekends.
You will fill in the schedule to provide the information.
Now listen to the information about Lucy’s daily schedule. Remember you will first hear all the sentences; then you will hear each sentence separately with time to fill in your chart.
Lucy gets up at 8.00 every morning except on the weekends. She has English on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at ten o’clock. She has History on Tuesday and Thursday at two o’clock. She takes Chemistry on Monday from two o’clock to six o’clock. She play tennis on weekends at four o’clock. She eats lunch at twelve o’clock everyday except Saturday and Sunday.

Now listen a second time. There will be a pause after each sentence to give you time to fill in the chart.
3) Sentence repetition
                        Sentence repetition is used for assessing listening comprehension by repeating a sentence or a partial sentence. As in a dictation the test-taker must retain a stretch of language long enough to reproduce it, and then must respond with an oral repetition of that stimulus. Incorrect listening comprehension, whether at the phonemic or discourse level, may be manifested in the correctness of the repetition.
h. Introduction to phonology
Before the study of forms there were sound. A person can make nonsense noises all day long, and that is all that they would be, nonsense, but when you add meaning to those sounds you have phonemes, and the study of these phonemes is called phonology. You must look beyond the letters themselves on paper and concentrate on the sounds of these sounds like vowel sounds (AEIOU) and consonants (BCTRD). Isolating these sounds will help in the learning process of phonology. Phonology is a very broad study and goes into great detail. The objectives that have been focused on will give you a general idea of what phonology is all about.
a. Sound Production
Speech sounds begin in the lungs and with the air that we breathe in and out every day. It is up to us to utilize the oral cavity or mouth along with the air to form the sounds that we want to make. We decide whether or not the sound we want to make should be released through the nose or the mouth, if the sound should be voiced or voiceless, how and where we will change the air flow through the mouth, and if certain syllables should be stressed or unstressed. We make these decisions every day without even being conscious of it.
1) Bilabial Stops
In the production of the sounds /p/ and /b/, the air is stopped at the lips. The only difference between them is that the /p/ is voiceless and the /b/ is voiced. Try pronouncing the following words and see if you can feel the difference:
You may notice or feel a sense of vibration when you pronounce the phoneme /b/. This indicates the difference between voiced and voiceless sounds. Our vocal chords are at work in order to produce the vibration that is felt between the lips and in the vocal chords. If you feel a vibration, then the phoneme is voiced; if not, then the phoneme is voiceless.
2) Alveolar Stops
In order to produce some sounds, the tip of the tongue stops the air flow at the velum on the roof of the mouth. In the pronunciation of the sounds /k/ and /g/, it feels as if the air is stopped at the back of the throat. Try pronouncing these words in order to feel a difference between the /k/ phoneme and the /g/ phoneme and see if you can tell which one is voiced and which one is voiceless.
If you said that the /k/ is voiceless and that the /g/ is voiced, then you are correct.
3) Fricatives
When a speaker pronounces fricative consonants, parts of the mouth such as the teeth and bottom lip partially block the flow of air. It is as though something has obstructed the air flow, and it is fighting its way out. Again, fricatives can be voiced or voiceless also. Some examples of fricative phonemes are the /f/ and the /v/ and the (theta) and the (eth). The /f/ and the /v/ phonemes are called labio-dental fricatives. This means that the air comes through the teeth and the lips. The pronunciation of the following words will give you a better understanding of the /f/ phoneme, which is voiceless, and the /v/, which is voiced.
Another set of fricative phonemes are the interdental fricatives. We already know that there is an obstruction with the pronunciation of fricatives; this time the obstruction comes between the teeth. These may be more difficult to differentiate because this pair is identical in spelling, "th"; however, they are different in pronunciation. Here are some examples:
Because one can feel the vibration in the tongue when pronouncing works such as "the" and "bathe," we know that the phoneme (eth) is voiced, and the (theta) is voiceless.
4) Alveolar Fricatives
The production of this sound results from an obstruction of the air flow at the alveolar ridge. Instead of being located near or on the lips, the tongue is now on the alveolar ridge. Two alveolar fricatives are the /s/ phoneme, which is voiceless, and the voiced /z/. Pronounce the following words and see if you can find a difference:
5) Phonemes
Phonemes represent a range of sound. Sounds or phonemes vary among the differences between speakers whether they be native English speakers or non-native speakers. In Understanding English Grammar, Martha Kolln and Robert Funk give the example of a conversation between a native Spanish speaker and a native speaker of English. The conversation goes something like this:
Amy     : "Hey Jose! How was your trip? Did you fly or travel by train?"
Jose      : "No, I came by sheep."
Amy     : "Sheep? You must mean ship."
Jose      : "Yes, that's what I said--sheep."

Instead of using the phonemes in English, Jose is using the phonemes that he knows in the Spanish language. We are aware of the differences between the vowel (i) in sheep and the vowel (I) in ship. Spanish does not have a difference between the vowel sounds; therefore, the pronunciation is different. Because phonemes are such distinctive sounds, vowels and consonants can change the FORM AND MEANING of a word. Form and meaning go hand in hand. In order to understand a language, one must learn both. Even if you know the meaning of a word, you may not know how to pronounce it; likewise, if you know how to pronounce a word, you don't necessarily know what that word means. Look and consider the forms and meanings of the following words:
  • tip/sip
  • dine/line
  • bunk/dunk
All of the above words seem similar, but differ from one another in meaning. The difference between dine and line is that the initial sound of dine is /d/ and the initial sound in line is /l/. The sounds of these two words are identical except for the initial sounds, which are consonants. Each of these consonants is considered a phoneme.

6) Minimal Pair
When studying phonemes, check to see whether changing a phoneme in a word creates a new word; if it does, then these two words are "minimal pairs," and you have two different phonemes. In other words, if the two different words are identical except for a single sound segment that occurs in the same place, then the two words are called a minimal pair. The words "link" and "pink," "fine" and "wine," and "thrive" and "drive" are all minimal pairs. Remember that all minimal pairs must sound alike in the same place of the word. If they don't, then they are not a minimal pair. Words like "seed" and "soup" are not a minimal pair.

i. Strategy of Cloze Dictation in Classroom Activities
Listening strategies are techniques or activities that contribute directly to the comprehension and recall of listening input. Listening strategies can be classified by how the listener processes the input. Cloze Dictation engages students in a step by step process that guides students through assosiation in written and oral formsistening ability. The technique of Cloze Dictation is given in the traditional style of reading the passage three times, the first time at a normal speaking speed with the students only listening to get the general meaning of the passage, the second time slowly enough for the students to fill in the blank, presenting the passage in word groupings or “chunks”, the third time at normal speed, but allowing pauses between sentences to allow the students to fill in any words or to correct any errors they perceived from the second reading. The phrasing in giving the dictation is connoted in the passage with slashes.
Doing this technique, English listening will be more meaningful if students are more highly engage.

j. Process of Cloze Dictation in Listening Classroom
            In this research, there are three stages of teaching learning process using cloze dictation:
a. Pre-Dictation
      In the pre-dictation activity, the students must get the necessary background information they need to know what the topic is about. The researcher can help students get ready for the dictation by helping them understand something about the topic they’ll be listening. They can also teach the vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to the students. Finally, the researcher should allow students to make some predictions about what the students will hear during the dictation.
b. Whilst-Dictation
      The researcher sets some tasks the students must do whilst listening to cloze texts so that they can filter out (or ignore) what is not important for their comprehension and write the texts down corretly. Remember, the filtering helps the students to concentrate on comprehending the information that is useful in doing the comprehension tasks the researcher has set.
c. Post-Dictation
      Finally, the researcher can present post-dictation activities. In these activities, the researcher will give the students a chance to check their comprehension of the speech in light of the purpose (or purposes) the researcher set up for the students.

B. Rationale
Cloze dictation is very essential in that it is the basic skill needed in learning any subjects. It is a thinking activity which involves comprehension strategies of the listener to gain knowledge. Particularly the ability to discriminate sounds, identify main idea, and listen for detailed information. When learning a language, students need to know not only the grammar but also how to apply language in real life contexts. By allowing students to use language in these contexts, it makes learning more instrumental and therefore more realistic for them. By using cloze dictation students are learning how to apply the language they have learned in the classroom to situations that could happen outside the classroom. The concept of transfer involves taking what one knows from one context and applying it in another, thereby showing that one actually understands that concept. This is an excellent way to gauge student understanding of particular concepts.
Some students encounter problems to activate those skills in listening
comprehension. These problems were indicated that students can not identify discriminate sounds, identify main idea, and listen for detailed information,. Those factors considered as the sources that caused the problems mentioned above. The first cause was the poor of students’ listening skill; second, the lack of students’ reading and writing skills by exposing the student to the written form of the language as he listens to the spoken form; and students were poor to recognize sight words and to make associations of sounds with letters.
Viewed from the lecturer, the teaching learning process showed that it
was monotonous. The spoken exercises given are taken from text books. It means the students just listen and must memorize the content of the texts which are strange and abstract for them. The lecturer’s teaching techniques are not quite attractive and challenging. The technique which was applied during teaching learning process made the students in such passive situation as they often got broad oral explanation from their teacher. Moreover, there is lack of media to practice with. Besides, the listening test has a limited time to do for the students. The lecturer focused more on doing exercises of the students’ activities. As the result, when the English class is going on, the students get nervous. Even some of them like to leave their class. Due to the fact it is necessary to make an attempt to improve student’s listening ability by applying another technique.
Knowing this condition, the researcher selected cloze dictation because
it can be used to improve students’ listening ability.
Cloze dictation is an easier task from the students’ point of view though it takes more effort to prepare from the vantage point of the examiner. It is easier to perform because more sensory information is given concerning the message - a cloze written version and a complete spoken version. This technique is extremely useful for testing both reading and listening ability. It is challenging so, the students get more vocabulary from learning words based on the context.

C. Action Hypothesis
            Based on the rationale of the study, the hypothesis is formulated as follows: technique of using cloze dictation can increase the ability of students in listening.


A.    Setting of the Research
This action research was carried out in first semester of STKIP PGRI Ngawi of 2010/2011 academic year. This university is located on Jalan Raya Klitik Km.5 Ngawi, phone number. (0351)749295. It is located in the edge of province road Solo- Surabaya, so it is very easy and strategic for the students to reach this institution. STKIP PGRI Ngawi, especially the English Department of Teacher Training Education has eight classrooms which consists of first, third, fifth and seventh semester. The first semester consists of two parallel class, the third semester consists of three parallel classes and the fifth and seventh semester consist of two classes for each. This institution seems that there are an increasing number of students significantly. It is due to the government policy about the better prosperity of teachers.
This institution has a mosque, a teacher office, five toilets, a parking area, a language laboratory, and micro teaching room, but it does not have other more important facilities such as multi media room, laptop with LCD in each classroom, and internet room. Meanwhile, a library provided there does not give sufficient books references to support teaching and learning process. There are totally fifty eight lectures in STKIP PGRI Ngawi, and among them, more than thirteen English lecturers teach in the English Department.
In doing the research, the researcher arranged the procedure carefully based on the tight time schedule. This research was done from August 2010 to March 2011. Research instruments were prepared by the researcher in August and September. October until December 2010 was very important time for doing the research, collecting the data, and analyzing the collected data. Finally, writing the research report was in January to March, 2011.

B.     The Subject of the Research
  The subject used by the researcher is the students of the first semester class B of STKIP PGRI Ngawi. The reason why the researcher chooses the first semester of class B is that they got a serious problem on listening. It was indicated by the previous listening test. Class B consists of 45 students. In this research 30 students become the subject of the research. The students learn English classically in the classroom. Pre Test (a paper and pen test to see the cloze dictation mastery), Post Test (a paper and pen test to evaluate the increasing of cloze dictation). The data were analyzed to answer the research problems.
This action research is in two cycles and each cycle consists of  planning, acting, observing, and reflecting. The researcher will continue to the second cycle using cloze dictation after the first cycle as the researcher knows the problem.

C. Method of the Research
                   The research method used in this study is an action research. The
definitions of action research are stated by many experts such as;
Elliot (1991: 69) Action research is the study of social situation with a view to improve the quality of action within it. It aims to feed practical judgment concrete situations and the validity of the theories or hypothesis it generates depends not so much on scientific test of truth, as on their usefulness in helping people to act more intelligently and skillfully. In action research theories are not validated through practice.
Niff that is quoted from Carr and Kemmis(1996) defined that; Action
research is a form of self reflective enquiry undertaken by   participants (teachers, students or principals) in social (including educational) situation in order to improve the rationality and justice of
1.  Their own social or educational practices,
2.  Their understanding of their practices,
3. The situation and institution in which these practices are carried out.
                  From the definition above, it can be drawn an inference that action
research is carried out in school to improve the teaching learning process in order that the students’ achievement are satisfactory. Here action research is conducted to improve the students’ listening ability. In the reality the students’ listening skill in university is still unsatisfactory.
Mills (2000: 5) also defines that, Action research is as a systematic
inquiry done by teacher or other individuals in teaching or learning environment to gather information about and subsequently improve the ways their particular school operates, how they teach and how they learn.

From the definition above, Action research can be defined as a
systematic study to overcome education problems or to change things related to educational problems for better done by teachers or practitioners, or in collaboration of teacher and researcher by means of their own practical action and by means of their own reflection toward the effect of those action.
From the definition above, it can be concluded that the characteristics
of this action research are as follows;
1)      Action research is the systematic study attempting to overcome real problems. In this research, the classroom action research is the attempts to overcome the students’ problems (improving listening skill).
2)      Action research is a form of self-reflective inquiry undertaken or carried out by participant in educational situation rather than outside researches. In this research, the classroom action research is carried out by the teacher herself as researcher.
3)      Action research is a kind of collaborative research. It means the research takes participants in the form of team consisting of insiders and outsiders. The insiders are some teachers who want to do action research, the outsiders are the researchers in their field, and in this classroom action research is done by English teacher herself as researcher and her collaborators.
4)      The action research is intended to change things to be better than before. In this research, the classroom action research is intended to change the students listening skill to be better than before.
5)      The action research is intended to improve the educational practices rationally. In this case the technique of using cloze dictation is applied in teaching listening.
6)      The action research is intended to develop new media to solve problem with communicative approach using cloze dictation. In this research, the classroom is intended to develop the new media using cloze dictation for teaching listening to solve the problems faced by students in listening.

D. The Research Procedures
   In this classroom action research, each procedure takes six steps in one
cycle. They are as follows:
1.    Identifying the problems.
       The researcher identifies the problems first before planning the action. The
problems refer to the factors making the students have difficulty in listening. To identify the problems, the researcher uses questionnaire. It is used to know the difficulties of the students in listening activity. And pre test to know the students’ listening skill.
2.    Planning the action,
         The researcher prepares everything related to the action as follows: Set a
purpose or decide in advance what to listen for. Decide if more linguistic or background knowledge is needed.  Those steps can be divided into some detailed steps.
a.         Preparing materials, making lesson plan and designing the steps in doing the action.
b.        Preparing sheets for classroom observation (to know the situation of teaching-learning process when the technique is applied).
c.         Preparing teaching aids and media
d.         Preparing a test (whether the students understand or not).
3.    Implementing the action.
a. The researcher implements the teaching learning activity of listening ability using Cloze dictation
b.  Monitor comprehension Verify predictions and check for inaccurate guesses.
c. Decide what is and is not important to understand.
d. Listen/view again to check comprehension.
 4. Observing and monitoring the action.
               The researcher observes all activities in teaching learning process
while the college as a collaborator evaluates the teacher’s teaching. Offer suggestion on the best way to teach, and help make a field note.
5.  Reflecting data and resulting of the observation
         The researcher makes an evaluation on all she has observed to find the
weakness of the activities that have been carried out in using cloze dictation in teaching listening. Evaluate comprehension in a particular task or area. Evaluate overall progress in listening and in particular types of listening tasks. Decide if the technique used were appropriate for the purpose and for the task. Modify strategies if necessary
6.  Revising the plan
         Based on the weakness of the activities that have been carried out in
using cloze dictation in teaching listening, the researcher revised the plan for the next cycle.
         In this classroom action research, it takes two cycles to improve the
listening class.  

F. Data and Technique for Collecting Data
               Data have a very important role in research, because without data, it is
impossible to get the result of the research. To obtain the data, the researcher used some instruments in collecting data, namely: observation, interview, and test.
      1. Observation
                        The observation is a technique of collecting data by closely watching and noticing the events during the teaching learning process in the classroom. In this research, the researcher used the real time. According to Wallace (1998: 106) the real observation and analysis as the teaching learning actually happens by using any electronic means of recalling the data and it will be done by making checklist or simply taking notes.
            The researcher with the collaborator observe all of the students’ activities and situation during the taeching learning process using cloze dictation technique. The function of the collaborator here is to evaluate the researcher’s teaching, to offer suggestion on the best way to teach and to help her to observe the students in teaching and learning process. In other words, the collaborator was the active participant who gave a big contribution to every step of her research.
2. Questionnaire
            A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondent (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). According to Burns (1999: 129) questionnaire is easier and less time consuming to administer the interview and the responses of a large number of information can be gathered. Related to this statement questionnaire will be given by the researcher before and after treatment to the students to get information from them about their activities, opinions, expectations, and attitudes and perceptions. The researcher asked the students to fill the questionnaire by reading the questionnaire and put √ to one of the responses.
      3. Interview
                        Besides making the test, observation, questionnaire, the researcher also interviewed the students about their personal perception, experiences, opinions, and ideas related to all classroom action research. According to Irawati Singarimbun (in Masri Singarimbun, 2006: 192) salah satu metode pengumpulan data ialah dengan jalan wawancara yaitu untuk mendapatkan informasi rinci dengan cara bertanya langsung kepada responden. The researcher interviewed them at the beginning and the end of the research to know their view about the teaching learning process, especially in teaching listening comprehension.
      4. Test
                        According to Brown (2004: 3) a test is a method of measuring a person’s ability; knowledge, or perfomance in a given domain. The goal in giving the test was to measure the students’ achievement in listening commprehension. Test were pre-test and post-test. Pre-tets was given to the students before being taught using cloze dictation and post-test was given to the students after being taught using cloze dictation. It is aim to know whether the students’ listening ability improves or not, before and after taught using cloze dictation.
                        To get the valid test, the internal validity and reliability is applied. There were pre-test and post-test which is used to collect the data. Each test contained 30 items. They were 32 of the valid items from 40 items. The test consisted of functional texts related to the texts that have been taught to the students.

G. Technique for Analyzing Data
                        After the data were collected, the researcher analyzed the scores from those tests by calculating the mean of the pre-test and the post-test. The data collected were analyzed by qualitative and quantitative ways. In analyzing qualitative data, the researcher analyzed the improvement of teaching learning process by using Constant Comparative Method. Strauss and Glasser (1980: 104) stated that constant comparative method was more likely to be applied in the same study to any kind of qualitative information, including observation, interviews, documents, articles, books and so on. In analyzing the data, the researcher investigated the field notes made regularly by the researcher. The researcher also evaluated the teaching-learning process using cloze dictation by considering the input and suggestions from her collaborator. The classroom action research would be successful if there was an improvement of students’ written and oral forms. The success could be seen when the students could do the listening test easily. Besides that the students’ response and reaction to the lesson of the listening ability was better than before taught using cloze dictation and the students enjoyed and felt comfortable in learning listening in the classroom.
                        The quantitative data analyses were used to analyze the data from the result of the pre-test and the post-test. It was done to compare the students’ listening comprehension before and after each cycle or the result of the pre-test and post-test.
                        In determining the level of the students’ listening comprehension, the two categories described by Sudijono (2008:184) were applied with the interpretation graded from the highest to the lowest scores, as shown in the following table:

Table 1
The System of Score Category
Correct Answer

                        The mean of the pre-test and the post-test were calculated by the formulas as follows (Ngadiso 2008: 5):
      In which:
            X         = mean of pre-test scores
            ∑X      = total score
            Y         = mean of post-test scores
            ∑Y      = total score
            n          = the number of sample
                        Finally, by analyzing data from observation, interview, and tests, the writer was able to draw a conclusion whether cloze dictation technique could improve the student’s listening skill or not.

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